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Baku, Azerbaijan, February 10, 2016

The Aim Texas team for Audit of Environmental and Social Safeguards compliance of JSSIP of Azerbaijan has prepared and submitted the Final Audit Report which is the second deliverable of the assignment.

The goal of the AIM Texas audit is to undertake an environmental, health, safety and social compliance review of the JSSIP against the applicable standards defined in Section 1.3 and to accomplish the following audit objectives:

  • To provide a brief description of the JSSIP status at the time of the audit in relationship to safeguard compliance;
  • To assess the JSSIP compliance with the three applicable World Bank environmental and social safeguards policies.
  • To review the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) reports and environmental management plans (EMPs) prepared for the JSSIP,
  • To determine the effectiveness of mitigation measure implementation and monitoring programs at each of the sites currently under construction;
  • To identify key environmental constraints and sensitivities particularly as they relate to the JSSIP elements currently under construction and to planning for future elements;
  • To audit of the MOJ and its Project Implementation Unit (PIU) safeguard compliance monitoring system, including its applicable policies, procedures and actual practices;
  • To identify gaps in information or in the JSSIP monitoring and evaluation process and propose corrections and further actions related to non-compliance issues identified during the audit process;
  • To identify deficiencies and remedies to the process by which environmental and social impacts and safeguard compliance are monitored, identified and corrected, and
  • To recommend remedial measures as may be currently needed and provide follow-up assessment of their implementation and efficacy to enable the MOJ and the JSSIP PIU to make timely decisions on remedial/corrective measures needed to ensure compliance with the applicable safeguards and learn strategic lessons for the implementation of future JSSIP project elements.

The JSSIP and its construction-related subprojects are subject to the following World Bank safeguard policies and other relevant referenced framework:

CRITERIA SUMMARY ASPECTS
Involuntary Resettlement (OP 4.12) This safeguard is triggered by the JSSIP on a precautionary basis since the civil works construction proposed at the target JSSIP infrastructure locations are in populated areas and could result in unanticipated land acquisition or disturbance due to construction related activities. Due to the possibility that land purchase and involuntary resettlement may occur during the implementation of all construction associated with the JSSIP, a Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) was developed by the MOJ which provides a basis for the audit process and the criteria related to assessing compliance to the Involuntary Resettlement safeguard policy.
Environmental Assessment (OP 4.01) This safeguard is triggered by the probable short-term environmental consequences associated with the required physical construction of the Project courthouses, court complexes, data center and the rehabilitation and upgrading of the facility to be utilized as a disaster recovery center. Each of these JSSIP subproject elements could have negative environmental and aesthetic consequences due to the construction process that must be monitored and managed during all activities required to implement the subproject civil works. As a result of the potential for environmental impact associated with conventional construction processes, an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) was developed for the JSSIP. This provides the environmental assessment foundation for the AIM Texas audit process as it relates to JSSIP compliance to the Environmental Assessment safeguard policy.
Physical Cultural Resources, (OP 4.11) This safeguard is triggered to ensure that the JSSIP’s civil works construction does not disturb any areas of historic or cultural value and that any archaeological or cultural finds that may be discovered during construction are preserved and properly managed without damage or loss.
Sound International Standards and Practices WB Environment, and Health & Safety Guidelines,

ISO 14001, Environmental Management System,

OHSAS 18001, Occupational Health & Safety Management System

Primary Applicable Local and National Environmental & Social Legislations (Additional information concerning applicable Legislation is shown in Annex 4 of this Audit Report,) Law on Environmental Protection, 1999

State Ecological Expertise, SEE, 1996

The Law on Safety, Sanitary and Epidemiology, 1992

The Water Code, 1997

Rule for Use, Protection and Preservation of Trees and Bushes, 2005

The Law on Protection of Atmospheric Air

Law of Azerbaijan Republic on Industrial and Domestic Waste

Law of Azerbaijan Republic on Fauna

Law on Acquisition of Land for State Needs, 2010

To determine compliance with the above safeguard policies, the audit process and this resulting report have been generally informed by the following:

  • Document review and desktop studies of JSSIP documentation, including World Bank safeguards policies, other documents prepared for development and implementation of the JSSIP, and documents related to land acquisition, site inspections and monitoring activities of the MOJ/PIU staff;
  • Multiple site visits to and inspections of three sub-project sites, and consultation with MOJ/PIU officials, MOJ officials, contractors, consultants, vulnerable groups in and close to project sites, and other project affected persons (PAPs), and workers;
  • JSSIP-related reporting documents.

The level of compliance of the gap issues and observations are categorized in accordance with the following definitions:

Level of Compliance – Rating Definition
Aligned Information available indicates that the JSSIP fulfills the requirement and/or is aligned with intended outcome of the requirement.
Partially Aligned Information available indicates that the JSSIP partially fulfils the requirement and/or is partially aligned with intended outcome of the requirement.
Not Aligned Information available indicates that the JSSIP does not fulfil the requirement.
Insufficient Information for the Assessment There is insufficient information to make an assessment of the level of alignment.
Not Applicable The requirements do not apply to the JSSIP at the current time.

A Corrective Action Plan (CAP) has been organized to include the following:

  • Description of the recommended corrective action;
  • Significance of the action;
  • Responsibility and funding source or resources for its implementation;
  • Deliverables; and
  • Suggested timelines for completion of the corrective action.

Through the environmental and social safeguards audit process, Aim Texas concluded that there are a number of gaps (non-alignment and/or partial alignment with respect to the WB safeguards policies, and applicable international and local standards requirements) in the implementation of the JSSIP to date. Addressing these gaps as they relate to the JSSIP sub-projects currently under construction and to future JSSIP elements will allow the project to be in general compliance with applicable standards.

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